Survivor Story #3


I am a quite person. I like to think of myself as friendly, sweet, and full of motivation. I am not afraid to take charge in the work place, but years ago I would not have been able to see myself as a strong, passionate individual who thrives in her graphic design program.

When I was 15 years old I was raped. As I write those words the pain in my soul bubbles up.  The details of what happened and the mental abuse that occurred still burns my mind like a scolding knife that cuts me wide open. I was 15 years old when I was dragged upstairs and violently lost a part of myself. I was young and dating a 17 years old. The sad part is I didn’t even really know what sex was, thank you Catholic school education for that. As he tore off my clothes I lost myself.. I still remember my underwear being ripped off of me as I fought hard to keep it on. Then everything went dim… and I could not fight anymore. I don’t want to go into detail (not because in afraid, but because or the graphic images could be triggering).

To understand my story you need to know the harsh darkness that is hidden in my past.

My parents were in the middle of a divorce, and my mother could be known as a raging alcoholic and abuser. My father was caught at work and trying to find himself. The day of my rape I walked to my grandparents home because that’s where we well all where living at this time. I was in shock. I think during all of this I went unnoticed because my little brother was dealing with a lot as well and the family came together to help him.

For months I bottled up what happened to me because I thought it was my fault. I thought I was a slut that was going to burn in hell. I was so thankful when I got my period that I just laid on the ground and cried naked in the shower until the water ran cold.

By law I was required to visit my mother in Florida, so over Christmas break I had to spend a week with her and my siblings. One night when she was buzzed she came into my room and asked me why I was so quiet. I was a child. I craved her love. As an adult now I can look back and see that she was a sick person, but it doesn’t mean what I am about to write hurts any less.

I remember crawling into a ball and telling her what happened. She sat there and cradled me and told me everything is going to be ok. She told me that I was raped- that I was a victim. She got up and left after I calmed down.

An hour later, she came back into my room and was wasted. She started smacking me and punching me saying I was a little slut and that I deserved being raped.

The next day my mother’s sister came to pick me up. She pulled over in a parking spot looked at me and said “your mother told me what happened. You need to get over it. Stop being a crybaby. There will be other boys. Just get over it.”

So I bottled up everything. I could never get over it though. How can you?

The sad thing was I was so terrified to tell my loving grandparents what happened because I thought they would have the same response my aunt did. I was so scared to tell anyone how I truly felt.

Throughout highschool I hated myself. I chopped all my hair of my Junior year and told people it was high fashion that inspired me, when in reality I just didn’t want people to look at me. I wanted to be unnoticed. Invisible. I thought it was better to be undesirable. Ironically one guy came up to me and said “wow, you used to be hot, did you switch teams?”

Fast forward to Freshman year of college: I’m going to keep this short because the event of my sexual assault hurt me so deeply because they happened two years ago and it was even harder than getting raped when I was 15.

Basically, I was in an abusive relationship. I was tied up and bruised in my boyfriend’s basement one time…and I thought I deserved this. I was forced to say yes sir, no sir, and was smacked over and over again. He would sent me texts like “I can’t wait to choke you and see you in a collar.”

The sick thing about being abused is that I felt like I could change the guy I was with and help him. I thought because he was a “so called” Christian that I could make him happy. He would go weeks without talking to me and it was like I was on a emotional rollercoaster.

This is where the story starts to change.

My friend invited me to hangout with her and her new boyfriend in D.C one day. They were bringing a friend that she wanted to introduce me to.

I remember this day so clearly because it was the very first time I had been genuinely happy for the first time in my life. My friend and I were standing outside of a museum, and her boyfriend and his friend were walking over to us. This is where I first met William.

William was super cute with glasses and an army dark green jacket with orange zippers. My friend introduced me to William, and since that day I truly learned what love is really like. That whole day was magical. William talked to me the whole time and took genuine interest in me and my passions. I was sad when the day was over. I remember walking back to the metro and not being able to figure out how the metro ticket machine worked ,and William was patient and very sweet helped me figure it out. As he left I had a sudden urge to hug him, and I truly felt so sad to see his metro train leave.

My friend and I were waiting for our trains to come and she looked at me and asked if I was still with my abusive ex. I paused and said I don’t think so.

In that moment, I was thinking about how nice William was to me and how for the first time in my life someone treated me with respect.

In that moment I decided to get help. I could not of done it without the help of my friend at the time who had been in a victim of rape and abuse herself.

To keep this short I went to counseling, told the police about the abuse I was experiencing, but I was turned away because I hadn’t come in with actual bruises.

This shocked me…

I had a written confession from my abuser and the police still would not take my case.

I ended up dropping out of school for a semester. I was so deeply depressed, but I FINALLY came clean to my grandparents about what had been happening.

This is where my story changes. First off, I want to say taking a break to get mental health is not a sign that you are a failure. Being angry and broken emotionally is not a sign that you are a failure. They are signs of feeling human. They are things to hold on to in your moments of despair. My anger that my abuser was still out there left me a wreck.

It wasn’t until I started counseling and coming to realize that the only way I could overcome what had happened to me was to truly get better for myself.

I used to wake up and look at myself and think how ugly I was. I thought that I would never  find love, I felt utterly alone.

Let me tell you. We are not alone. We have so much to live for, and even though it felt like my journey was walking up hills through quick sand…. I held on to a hope to feel happy again. To draw again, to read again, to feel joy again, to eat again. All the things I loved…. Needed to be apart of me again.

I would not quit because the world had spat on me so many items. 

The words from my youth weld up inside me “just get over it…..”

Sadly, I knew I would never get over it, but instead I would survive it. I would survive and be the hope for someone who was sinking in there own depression. I would be the friend that I needed when I felt alone.

Currently, I have been dating William for almost 2 years now ( July 1)

He knew about my past, and held me and let me cry when I told him everything. I remember the first night he told me he loved me, and he held me so tight and said “I will never hurt you and I want you to feel cherished. If I ever see the guys who did this to you, made you feel less than beautiful and broke you…. I will kill them.”

This love doesn’t hurt. This love holds me during my ptsd freakouts. This love understands that sometimes sex is difficult and stressful. Never has this love pushed or expected anything. This love makes me feel beautiful in a way that touches my soul.

This love encouraged me to go back to college, to start my own graphic design company, to draw comics and be unapologetic about who I am.

I am now almost done with my graphic design degree, and I recently landed an internship.

My word to everyone is this: No matter what you have been through, you will make it. You are strong, you are brave and you are uniquely designed. Do not let your abusers beat you down. Stand up, for I will be here for you even if the journey seems impossible. There is always a light.

Treat people kindly, love deeply because you never know what’s going on behind the pinup smile of a classmate or friend.

Be the friend you wished you had when you where in the dark.

– Story of an alcoholics daughter

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